Jump to content
Zeek

Harbor Freight Mini Tire Changer Eval

Recommended Posts

I have a bunch of tires I need to mount, etc. so I thought I would spring for one of these mini tire changers at HF http://www.harborfre...nger-34552.html

I know you can use screwdrivers, pry bars, hammers or whatever, but I got this on sale for $33 with coupon so I thought what the heck . . . I'm a tool guy.

post-3784-0-95138700-1345164267_thumb.jp

Started out with these two front tires on my lawn non-WH tractor. They both had leaks and needed filled every few days. If I have to go to the work of dismounting, I'm not screwing with a tubes when the tire itself is worn out anyway.

post-3784-0-75889700-1345164353_thumb.jp

Dismounting was a breeze and both tires were off no time flat :laughing-rofl: Bead breaker works great. I mounted the whole thing on a bench and the top of the mounter is removable.

post-3784-0-89789600-1345164487_thumb.jp

post-3784-0-94812900-1345164499_thumb.jp

Fix-A-Flat worked good for a year or two, but I would not recommend it because it gums up your rims and is a pain to clean off.

post-3784-0-88456500-1345164638_thumb.jp

post-3784-0-68735900-1345164650_thumb.jp

post-3784-0-34556300-1345164661_thumb.jp

post-3784-0-63726500-1345164672_thumb.jp

I got these tires from eTires.com for $15 each. It's a non-WH turf only tractor, so durability/quality/etc were not a concern. Their shipping method is very simple, which I guess offsets the cost. The down side is they are hard to get re-spread for the bead to seat.

post-3784-0-54284500-1345164913_thumb.jp

post-3784-0-66341000-1345164925_thumb.jp

post-3784-0-94747900-1345164936_thumb.jp

At first I thought this would work good after watching YouTube videos (straps didn't do anything - Maybe if the tire was in a regular shape)

MOV06359.MPG

Maybe I needed more starting fluid or more ball$ (or perhaps God did not want me to die in a furious garage fire at the tender age of 47 before Olde Tyme Days) . . . so I decided to give them a bug hug while pushing air in with the valve stem core removed and eventually got them seated.

After researching several forums I found that 303 Protectant (or the Turtle Wax version) was an excellent lube for various reasons. If your rim is clean you will not need tubes for the same reasons your car does not need tubes. CLEAN rim seat+good lube=leak free seal. Check it with water when done to make sure there are no bubbles. If so, beat the tire with a large poly or rubber hammer near the rim a few times. That may do it. If not, break the seat/CLEAN/lube/re-seat.

post-3784-0-65676300-1345165779_thumb.jp

Dip the whole works in a tub of water and make sure there are no leaks,

Bottom line is for a little money if you want another tool to play with, it works pretty good. I think there is a YouTube video showing it's use too. I saw some reviews about bending the mounting bar, but I think if you have enough lube and are using it for it's intended application in the manner it's supposed to be used it will work.

Hope this was helpful.

Before you ask, if you have rim that is large enough to be placed on a regular garage tire machine . . . don't use this. I take mine to a local garage and have the tires on/off in minutes for few bucks (or free if you have a friend) :orcs-cheers:

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting your review. Will it do rear tires like the 23.5 x 12 ? I'd consider it for the 312H tires. You made it look easy! Those tires look good too. I'm going to check that e tire website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have one of those tire changers, it's a MUST have for smaller tires!

Good job at getting those tires to seat on the bead after being shipped all flat like they were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you ask, if you have rim that is large enough to be placed on a regular garage tire machine . . . don't use this. I take mine to a local garage and have the tires on/off in minutes for few bucks (or free if you have a friend) :orcs-cheers:

Will it do rear tires like the 23.5 x 12 ? I'd consider it for the 312H tires.

Harbor Freight's other tire changer.... 1_harbor_freight_tire_changer_962.jpghttp://www.harborfre...nger-69686.html is for the 12 inch rims... I have one, works like a dream.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the same one as Jason posted above. It does work great. I ended up waiting till I found a coupon and got it for like $29.99. I don't have mine bolted down but I bet it work even better if it was.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting your review. Will it do rear tires like the 23.5 x 12 ? I'd consider it for the 312H tires. You made it look easy! Those tires look good too. I'm going to check that e tire website.

The max size it does is a 12" rim. They make a larger version which just happens to be on sale for the same price http://www.harborfreight.com/portable-tire-changer-69686.html

You can see what it does here:

Before you ask, if you have rim that is large enough to be placed on a regular garage tire machine . . . don't use this. I take mine to a local garage and have the tires on/off in minutes for few bucks (or free if you have a friend) :orcs-cheers:

Will it do rear tires like the 23.5 x 12 ? I'd consider it for the 312H tires.

Harbor Freight's other tire changer.... 1_harbor_freight_tire_changer_962.jpghttp://www.harborfre...nger-69686.html is for the 12 inch rims... I have one, works like a dream.

Sorry I missed this before I posted my answer :roll:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool! This could have helped me this week if i had one. I saved a 83 Wheelhorese Workhorse 1142 from a flood 2 years ago and finished it up but had to wrestle the tire off the rim for a hour to install a tube.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harbor Frieght used to sell a tire changer that had another piece you could buy so you could change motorcycle tires. I really was interested in this one, but can't find one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned a trick from the local atv shop when mounting tires that come in like that. Cut yourself 3 pieces of 2x4 a little bit longer than the rim is wide. Put them in the tire to hold the bead apart and set the tire in the sun til it regains its shape.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. Guys, I would like to renew this topic. I am intrested in one of the H.F. tire changers. Whitch one would be the best for 8 and 12 inch Wheel Horse tires? The only other tires I would possibitly use it for would be small 15 inch Volkswagens with 4 lug wheels. What do you Think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought this one for rims 12" or less. It is not rated for anything bigger than 12" and I would not recommend trying.

I use mine for front tires only. Anything bigger I either do by hand or take to a service station.

Although the larger model will handle tires down to 8", I understand the problem is the hub center of a garden tractor style wheel is too small to fit over the center of the larger changer. It's made more for ATV/golf cart wheels or whatever with larger hub centers.

Hope that helps :handgestures-fingerscrossed:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have both of them, the small one and the floor mount that I have mounted to a big wooden base that I can stand on for weight. The Bench mount is good for front tires and The floor Jobbie is good for 12" all day long and even seen it used on car tires. I just busted 8 Fronts and 8 Rears off ready for the powder coater useing the floor mount one and I like that one the best for rears because I can get more leverage it seems like, but they both have their place. :thumbs2: I bust the beads on the fronts with the Big un then as Zeek Stated use the bench mount one to dismount them.

~Duke

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw a tire INFLATING trick on another forum a while back that I thought was worth mentioning.. Sometimes we don't have the time to make props to expand the tire and wait for days for the tire to "re-form" to something that again resembles a tire !

If you have a tire that is shipped flat.. ( especially a wheel barrow tire), try this..

Use duct tape to cover any holes in the wheel and also cover the center axle hole... ( One or two layers of tape, depending on the quality of the duct tape you are using.)

Use the tape on the side OPPOSITE of the wheel that has the valve stem !

Find a corresponding size bucket / sturdy container (without holes to leak air) that has an opening SLIGHTLY larger in diameter than the wheel you have..

( Assuming you have mounted the new tire..)

Place the wheel with mounted tire over the top of the bucket (valve stem up) and press down firmly enough to form a seal between the rim of the bucket and the sidewall of the tire..

When pressing down, you are forcing the top bead of the tire onto the wheel.. As you begin to inflate the tire, the bucket fills with air and creates pressure that will expand the bottom bead onto the rim..

With a little patience and some duct tape, you will have the problem tire mounted and be on your way !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love it, guess I need to go shopping beats the heck out of beating the beads down and using bars by hand..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently purchased the same Mini Tire Changer & used it to dismount a 50 year old pair of front tires on my 854, as I wanted to go with AG tires on the front to match the ones on the rear for plowing.

I reused the original Goodyear inner tubes & had no inflation issues. The HF unit can be used without the flanged base by holding it in the vise as I did. Finished both tires in about half an hour - not even a 2 beer job!

The key to tire removal / installation is to push the bead opposite the revolving tool down into the center recess of the rim. I use a mix of Windex & dishwashing liquid as the lube - works fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the mini, have not tried it for rear tires , but it works great for the front ones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to change 12" racing

Slicks at the track with a couple

Of tire irons and a whole bunch of

Big guys. I wish we had a video.

It had to look like a monkey having

An inapropriate relationship with

A football!:rolleyes:

Sent from my SCH-S720C using Tapatalk 2

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made this mount for my harbor freight mini tire changer.   I hope its as easy to change tires as it looks in the videos.

post-5864-0-36359700-1397522540_thumb.jp

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just put tubes in some old 18 9.50  8 tires for a lawn trailer yesterday, removed the valve stems, broke the beads down with a 2# hammer and a bead iron, slimed the beads up with some liquid dish soap and a brush, used a couple of tire spoons and a soft deadblow hammer to remove and install the tires. the bad part was 1 tire had slime in it, wrong name, it reminds me more of something like Gorilla snot, a real mess to clean up, used the garden hose to clean the wheel and inside of the tire, then dried it out and lubed the tire beads up with soap and put it back together with tubes installed. really not a bad job once you remember the little tricks. Hey it's only been like 25 years since I've mounted a tire by hand and a lot longer than that since tires paid the rent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made this mount for my harbor freight mini tire changer.   I hope its as easy to change tires as it looks in the videos.

 

 

Great Idea I like yer Style!  :notworthy:  May hafta build one myself! 

 

~Duke 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I welded a long bolt on top of the larger HF tire changer...2.small disc blades (same size to fit inside 8" rim) put one blade on bottom, then tire and rim, then another blade on top...run nut down on bolt to hold rim in place.....and you are ready to work on the tire...works for me..poor guys have poor ways!!!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry, I like your idea.  I have mine bolted to a work bench.  It works but it is a little more difficult since the tire is about chest high  when I am trying to wrestle it on.  I also bought a couple of cheap squeeze clamps from harbor freight to squeeze the tire together to get it into the smallest part of the rim when trying to get the second bead installed.  You may not need them but as an older guy, I  need all the help I can get!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:text-yeahthat:  X2     I have the larger changer & had issues with the 8in tires... thanks for the info Frank :thumbs2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×